Public transportation in San Francisco

Mar 2nd, 2008, 08:21 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,866
Public transportation in San Francisco

OK, as the trip rapidly approaches I find myself getting totally confused. Please help!

I am getting mixed up between BART and Muni.

What I want is to be able to get around SF using bus and or cable car for 1 week. It sounds like the best deal will be a Muni 7 day pass for $24. Is that correct? [I see that one way bus is $1.50 and cable car is $5. ]

What lightrail is covered on that pass and is that different than BART?

Transfers- good for 90 minutes; must the second ride be in the same direction or can you use it to return to origination [making it a round trip ticket, in essence]?

Transfers to and from Cable cars available?

We are staying near Convention Center at Mosser. I want to be able to get to Fisherman's Wharf, North Beach, Ferry Building and other areas and museums etc.

We will also be trying to get from hotel to some restaurants via public transportation - A16; Zuni Cafe; Tadich Grill; Aqua.

I've lived in the country for too long....
DebitNM is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 09:36 AM
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Deb, pretty much everything you mentioned -- cable cars, trolleys, busses, streetcars -- are run by MUNI. BART is a separate system, essentially a subway system (although unlike NY, it's not a "goes everywhere system"). Sometimes (Embarcadero Station for example), they share the same underground station -- Muni on one level, and BART on another level.

For travel within the city, Muni will get your more places, because BART will only go in a straight line -- Embarcadero (Ferry Bldg) up Market Street to Civic Center (stopping at Montgomery, Powell St. and Civic Center). It then turns and goes into the Mission District, then heads toward the burbs (Colma, Daly City, etc.). That's one line. The other line goes under the Bay after Embarcadero, towards the East Bay. So if you happen to be going somewhere BART goes, it's great, but it's limited.

Muni, on the other hand, in one guise or another, goes everywhere in the City.

I'm not sure if a Muni pass works on cable cars, since they're so much more expensive than "regular" transportation.
Mar 2nd, 2008, 09:37 AM
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The passes are a great deal and work on the cable cars. Buy a map of the transit system at the information center near Powell and Market (about $3).

happytrailstoyou is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 09:58 AM
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I think of BART more for commuters. Like my friends who live out in Oakland or Walnut Creek use it to get into the city Mon thru Fri. I guess you could use it to get around for certain stops within the city, but seems the bus would be easier.

Also the central part of the city if very walkable. I've done Union Square, Embarcadero, Chinatown, Fishermans Wharf on foot combined with cable car only.

suze is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 10:42 AM
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Thanks! I think I've got it now.

I guess the biggest confusion stemmed from the stations having both BART and MUNI.

DebitNM is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 11:09 AM
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Just realized I still don't understand about transfers. I understand that it is valid for 90 minutes.

Do I have to continue in the same direction with the transfer for it to be valid?

Or can it be used [within the alloted time] to go somewhere [from Convention Center lets say], get off lets say Ferry Building] and look around, and then go back to where I started [Convention center].

DebitNM is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 11:14 AM
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If you get a pass you won't have to think about transfers--you just use the pass. However, to answer your question, you can go in any direction with a transfer. Round trip, onto another bus or line or streetcar--only exception, not onto a cable car. With the pass, you can take any form of Muni transportation, including cable cars.
SAB is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 11:18 AM
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Thanks SAB!

One more question, if you would allow it.

We would like to take a ferry. Scenic ride type of thing.

I had read that you can take a ferry from Ferry Market Building to Sausalito. There seem to be different ferries and I can't differentiate between them.

If not the above ride, which would be a nice ride with a place to stroll around at end or just a complete loop.

{We are booked to go to Alcatraz already, so don't want that one.}

Thanks again,
DebitNM is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 12:59 PM
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Hi Debi, don't feel bad, it does get confusing.

For the Sausalito Ferry (SF/Sausalito) here is the website.
You walk behind the Ferry Building..I am almost certain the Sausalito Ferry dock is on the right hand side of the plaza. There will be a sign.

In case you do decide you want or need to take BART here is the website.

To get to Fisherman's Wharf from Market St., (or the Embarcadero) you might want to take the F Line which consist of heritage street cars

Also if you enjoy walking I would suggest you walk along the Embarcadero to Fisherman's Wharf as it is a wonderful but long walk but something I always enjoy. BTW, if you do so when you see the sign for Broadway (going west, away from the bay) if you walk up Broadway until you get to Columbus at Broadway on the right hand corner of Braodway and Columbus is where the GTG dinner will be held. If you walk up Columbus (turning right from Broadway) you can enjoy North Beach.

I love to walk in SF..the good sea air, the activity etc. Just be careful crossing streets as some drivers are very inconsiderate of pedestrians! So look both ways and pay attention. We want to see you at both GTG's!!

Also, when at Union Square there is an Italian style cafe at the east end of Union Square, along the end of the plaza where Stockton St is. All types of pastries, sandwiches, coffee, Italian drinks, wine etc. You can enjoy their outdoor patio if the weather is conducive. A good way to relax a bit and people watch.

LoveItaly is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 01:04 PM
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The Golden Gate commuter ferries leave from the Ferry Building, so that would be the Sausalito and Larkspur, as do the Oakland/Alameda ferries. The tour ferries and boats and the Alcatraz ferry leave from the Wharf. So if you plan on taking the regular ferry to Sausalito, it leaves from the Ferry Building.
SAB is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2008, 07:27 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Deb -- Not that it will help you but for information purposes, a Cable Car day pass is $11 for unlimited rides.
Shanghainese is offline  
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